To some, the first sign of Spring is the sight of a robin. Or snow-drops blooming. Perhaps tulips blooming. But to me, the first sign of spring is the desire to make sundresses.
This desire probably stems from years of shopping for pastel-colored Easter dresses when there was still snow on the ground. Now that I sew, instead of shopping, I'm making (which we all know is so much more fun!)
So for our May Boxes, we're getting in the warm weather spirit with light, airy, ready for summer dresses. And we hope that by the time these arrive on your doorstep, Spring will be in full bloom too!
Lightweight Box: Kew Dress by Nina Lee
Nina Lee's website describes the Kew Dress as "a dreamy blend of vintage and contemporary elements inspired by the balmy ups and rainy downs of British summertime. Think picnics and garden parties, strawberries and cream, sometime sunshine and being beside the seaside…" Honestly, we couldn't have said it better ourselves. With three sleeve options, a sweet button-front and even a skirt variation, this dress is basically the Platonic ideal of a summer dress.
Now, let's talk fabric!
Raspberry Crepe - This dress features some lovely details, including a gathered shoulder yoke and ruched sleeves. To highlight these elements, we chose a solid crepe in a summery, fresh-picked berry red. With contrasting pearl buttons, a dress in this fabric will transition perfectly from hot summer days to warm summer nights, and you'll look amazing for every second of it!
Navy Floral Rayon Challis - The beauty of this floral print is in the details: the flowers and leaves of this print look partly hand-drawn, partly embroidered onto the navy background. And if you've been paying attention, we love a trompe l'oeil here at Needle Sharp. On top of the print, this rayon challis is incredibly soft and light. Honestly, you won't want to take this dress off!
Black and White Cotton Gingham - Looking at our past boxes, we're amazing this is the first time that we've used gingham in our boxes. Well, it's about time we corrected that! This cotton gingham is soft and lightweight, we think you'll have so much fun playing with the checks. We already see the shoulder yoke or the cold-shoulder sleeves on the bias. . .
Medium Weight Box: Centaurée Dress by Deer & Doe Patterns
I'm pretty sure it's impossible to look at the seam detail on the front of this dress and not want to sew it. Just me? I didn't think so! A geometric, paneled bodice, combined with with double straps and a criss-cross back and a high-low skirt, and we're in love. Everything about this dress just screams relaxation and ease, aka, summertime. And that's what we were keeping in mind when we chose three gorgeous fabrics:
Black Rayon/Linen Noil - If you're not familiar with noil, you're probably not alone. While the fabric type has been around for centuries, it's only just making a resurgence. The fabric is made from short fibers giving it a nubbly texture and a soft hand. This noil, in a muted black, is very soft and has a great drape that will complement the gathers of the skirt well, but enough structure to highlight the style lines. In other words, it will be a great, summer-weight little black dress.
Belize Stripe Linen Blend - When we saw the star-shaped lines of the bodice, we knew we wanted to play with stripes. Enter this linen-cotton blend straight out of your next vacation photos. This fabric has alternating bands of light blue, cream and orange, with thinner stripes breaking up the pattern. The whole effect of the fabric evokes a serene, natural calm, and who doesn't want that when they get dressed. Play with the direction of the stripes - we could see adding a hem band with the thinner lines laid out horizontally - and turn this fabric into a show-stopping summer dress
Green Mist Cotton Crepe - It's all about texture with this mint green cotton. A creped finish turns an ordinary quilting weight cotton into a thing of beauty. It changes the whole look and feel of the fabric, as if you've washed it a thousand times and imbued it with softness. Plus, the color is cool and calming, perfect for your wardrobe as the mercury starts to rise. A stunning fabric!
Curvy Box: Webster Dress by Cashmerette Patterns
The best part about the description of the Webster Dress in Cashmerette's shop is that it's "perfect for dancing." That little phrase got our mind churning on the best fabrics to let you strut your stuff on the dance floor this summer. Oh, and you'll also want to show off the crossover straps in the back and slinky cut of the high-low skirt. All these elements combine to form a beautiful dress that will go from weekend concert to weekday dinner without missing a beat.
So let's look at those dance-ready fabrics!
Dandelion Print Crepe - When we think slinky, we think crepe. It has a fluid drape, but it's also opaque in nature, with a slightly thicker hand than most fabrics its weight. This means all the benefits of drape without visible panty lines. And in this dark blue with multi-colored dandelion buds across its surface, this fabric will become a gorgeous dress for the summer months!
Mallard Green Tencel Twill - This fabric looks just like sandwashed silk, but it has a bit more body and control (so it doesn't just skip-slide off your sewing table), making it perfect for this pattern. The deep, jewel-toned green looks beautiful against many different skint tones, and it has an earthy naturalness that we love. Add a pair of brown leather sandals, and you have your perfect summer outfit.
Tile Print Lightweight Twill - The simple cut and style of the Webster dress makes it a perfect canvas to show off print. This black, brown and cream print, evocative of mediterranean tile floors, and by that very fact, has us thinking of warm weather. The twill weave gives it a little extra texture, too, and adds just the right amount of body to make the fabric skim over your curves. A bold and beautiful fabric option!
Heavyweight Box: Fiona Sundress by Closet Case Patterns
The Fiona Sundress is everything we look for in a summer dress: beautiful details (hello, buttons!), thicker straps (aka bra-friendly), and pockets. Oh, and that back! The criss-cross straps with the low-V have us swooning. And we hope you're swooning too! Wear it on its own during warm weather months, or layer it over tees and turtlenecks as the weather cools. No matter the time of year, you have a dress you'll love to wear.
Check out the fabric:
Flame Red Essex Linen - Ok, fine, this is pretty much the fabric from the promotional photos, but is it our fault they picked the best fabric? A yarn-dyed linen, this has red warp threads and white weft threads, giving it a great mottled look. Plus, the linen will soften with every wash, so the more you wear this dress, the better it will get!
Black 21W Corduroy - If you're looking for a dress that will work for all seasons, corduroy is the way to go! A cotton corduroy (with a little spandex for comfort), this fabric will be breathable in summer and, with a shirt under it, ideal in colder temps. Plus, we're giving you enough fabric to account for the nap.
White Floral Printed Denim - This dress is perfect for denim, but why stop with an ordinary indigo dye. This printed denim has all the benefits of your favorite jeans, with the added benefit of a fun floral print. And we love the contrast of the utilitarian fabric and sweet, delicate flowers!
That's it for this month. For our Classic Boxes this month, we've revived our Pajama Boxes, so if dresses aren't your thing, we've got you covered! Due to fabric availability, the fabrics options are slightly different than they were a year ago, but we think you'll be happy with the changes.
Until next month. . .